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Derby family left vomiting and unwell after trip to foreign five-star hotel

today18 September 2022 1

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A Derbyshire family claim they were left bed-ridden and suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea when they became ill while on holiday in Mexico. The gang of six had been staying at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort and Spa in Cancun when they became ill back in July.

Some members of the family are said to be suffering still from the effects of the illness weeks after arriving back in the UK. Katie and Ashley Richards, from Shardlow in South Derbyshire, travelled to the resort in Mexico with their daughter to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary, and they were later joined on the two-week trip by other members of the family as well.

However, Katie, 33 and a nurse, began to feel unwell just six days into their trip, suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea. Within three days, Ashley, 34, their daughter Ruby, six, and a nephew also fell ill with Ashley being bed bound for three days.

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Katie said: “When we landed in Mexico, we were looking forward to two weeks of sun and relaxation. Ashley and I had honeymooned in the Riviera Maya area, and we had such a fantastic time back then that we agreed to bring our daughter on holiday on our ten-year anniversary. Sadly, our trip was nothing like that. Instead, most of us spent most of the second week unwell.

She claimed: “I recall some of the food, including chicken, appeared undercooked and was served lukewarm. New food was added on top of the existing buffet and some items were totally dried out and inedible.



Katie, Philip and Ruby along with Katie's parents Alison and Philip while on their holiday in Mexico
Katie, Philip and Ruby along with Katie’s parents Alison and Philip while on their holiday in Mexico

“I also noticed that salad, yoghurts and cottage cheese weren’t kept chilled, and the cutlery and crockery were often dirty or stained. We also saw a lot of flies around the food, as well as cats, birds and raccoons hanging around.

“I even found a maggot in the salad one evening. It’s really not the standard you expect from a five-star hotel.”

The family returned to the UK on August 3 but both Katie and Ashley’s symptoms have continued and they’ve been forced to go to see their local GP. Katie’s parents, Alison Whitmore, 60, and Philip Whitmore, 61, also fell ill during the holiday.

The pair have also been to see their doctor, with Philip testing positive for cyclospora, a pathogen contracted by drinking unclean water or eating food that hasn’t been cooked properly or washed with clean water. Philip said: “I was shocked when I was told by the doctor that I had cyclospora and learned about how it can be contracted.

“Being a retired chef with 40 years of professional catering experience, I did notice some concerning issues around food hygiene as the holiday went on, but I never thought that most of my family would become so unwell.”

The family has now instructed lawyers to investigate the resort to try to find answers as to why they got so ill, what the cause was and who was the blame.

Derbyshire Live has contacted Sirenis Hotels, the company that owns the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort and Spa for its response to the allegations. We are still awaiting its reply.

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